Sydney, Australia’s oldest and biggest city, has everything you’d expect from a world city. Its location on one of the most beautiful harbors, its greenness, climate, safety, and even excellent transport system make it an unforgettable destination.
The Sydney Harbor, home to the shell-shaped opera house and the steel-arch bridge, is one of the most stunning harbors in the world. A string of golden, inner-city beaches runs on either side of which the most famous is Bondi, and others, no less beautiful, include Tamarama, Bronte and Manley.
Long, long before there were cheap flights to Sydney, Australia’s first European settlers landed at The Rocks. At the foot of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and on the western shores of Sydney Cove, this old colonial district is a buzzy area with cafes and restaurants standing amid the historic buildings.
Aside from the landmarks and beaches, Sydney revels in its foodie reputation. While it has its fair share of museums, theatres and art galleries perhaps the best thing is having a view of the water at sunset, a plate of Sydney rock oysters and a glass of local white wine.
Tourists booking trips to Sydney are headed for one of the most cultural cities in the world, and it’s possible for travelers to spend an entire week just touring it. Here are some tips to help you plan your trip to Sydney and enjoy the smoothest possible visit to this wonderful city.
Sydney has a temperate climate with more than 300 sunny days a year. Winters are more cool than cold. Southern hemisphere seasons are reversed, so June to August are the coolest, and the daytime temperature can drop to 45 degrees (Fahrenheit). Summers, which are between December and March, are humid with occasional downpours. Temperatures are usually in the upper 70’s but can go over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). Sea breezes cool the hot days, and evenings are balmy. Fall (April, May) and spring (September through October) are delightful with clear, warm days and mild nights.
There is no bad time to book flights to Sydney and experience life “down under.”
Summer (December to March) is the most popular time to book flights to Sydney as the weather is nice and warm, and the city is buzzing at this time of year. New Year’s Eve, the Sydney Festival, Australia Day and the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are just some of the events that entice visitors to this vibrant city during January and February. Book your cheap flights to Sydney well in advance if you’re planning to visit during this period.
The Sydney festival starts just after New Year’s and runs through January, and brings many events to the city. The beaches are busy and plentiful — there are more than 20 beaches along the oceanfront and more around the harbor. It’s a great festival to experience, however to find the cheapest flights to Sydney you should book well in advance for the festival period. Also during the summer are yacht racing, surfing and other water-sport competitions. The summer Surfing Carnivals bring crowds to watch the surfing and other water-sport competitions. There is yacht racing on summer weekends, and the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is on Boxing Day (December 26). Australia Day is on the 26th of January, and is a great day of partying and patriotism.
Sydney has pleasant weather even during the cooler months of the year, with spring and autumn being great times to visit. Rain is more common in spring but it doesn’t linger for long, and it offers you the best chance of finding cheap flights to Sydney. Temperatures are still mild and pleasant in winter (June to August), and flights and hotels are cheaper during this time.
Cheap flights to Sydney aren’t impossible to find, but generally due to the length of travelling involved there won’t ever be bargain prices. That said, if you book your flights to Sydney in advance, at least a few months, you’ll have a better chance of saving money. Flights to Sydney also tend to be cheaper between October and November, although this is only slightly. If you plan to travel during mid-April to June, you may be able to grab some great cheap flight deals as well. The best way to save money on your flight tickets when booking your flight is to be flexible on the dates you want to travel. Australia isn’t a cheap country to visit so any savings you can make on your flights will definitely help you out. Also, if you can, try to sit on the left hand side of the plane for stunning views of Sydney as you descend. This is weather dependent but the right hand normally just offers views of the ocean.
Flying into Sydney takes around fifteen hours and thirty minutes from Los Angeles, and taking off from New York brings the flight time to twenty hours and twenty minutes. The flight from Orlando is just over nineteen hours. If you’re leaving from Chicago, expect a flight of around twenty hours.
As a world-class air traffic hub, Sydney Airport receives flights from all major U.S. airlines including Delta, American Airlines and United. Dozens of other international airlines also fly into Sydney, such as British Airways, Emirates and Qatar. If you’re flying from elsewhere in Australia, you should have no trouble finding a flight on one of the domestic airlines.
“No Worries” is the perfect catchphrase for Sydney, where dressing casual is the norm. If you’re flying in during the winter, bring a light jacket to stay warm. Summers are warm and humid, so bring some tank tops and shorts alongside a few layering options for the cooler evenings. Don’t forget your bathing suit and sunblock for basking on the beach, and be sure to pack a portable power converter for your electronics. If you plan to venture into the bush, bring a hat, a water bottle and some hiking sandals.
You can reach the city by train from Sydney Airport (about 6 miles in distance), also referred to as Kingsford-Smith Airport, in around 15 minutes, and there are train stations at both International and Domestic terminals just in case you find yourself unsure of where to be. The International terminal is at the northern end and is accessible from the Arrivals area. Alternatively, you can jump on one of the many buses that operate to and from the airport. They are very regular and easy to navigate, however, the train is the quicker option if you’re in a rush. Failing that, you could take a taxi or rent a car from the airport, however a taxi will be expensive and unless you plan to drive around a lot, car rentals can be an unnecessary burden.
Once you’ve settled in to your hotel and are ready to explore, you’ll quickly notice that Sydney is a city built around its harbor, and that’s where you will find some of the best sightseeing. The public passenger ferries are run by Sydney Ferries and you can board a monorail down to Darling Harbor. There are plenty of ways to get around the city. The Sydney and Bondi Explorer buses stop almost anywhere you’d want to go in the city and around the harbor and beaches. Take the light-rail tram line to Chinatown, Paddy’s Markets or Darling Harbor. You don’t need to drive, and the one-way streets and lack of parking will eat up your time. Taxis are all over and easy to hail on the street. Adventurous travelers who don’t fear heights can join the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, which walks across catwalks and ladders across the arch of the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Once you step out of the airport, Sydney’s metropolitan appeal and natural beauty deliver an unforgettable Aussie welcome. Get settled into your hotel so you can lounge on Bondi beach or take some surf lessons. Next, head to one of the zoos or aquariums to see Australian wildlife up close, or take in the coastal sights with a stroll along Coogee Coastal Walk.
Looking for a little more adventure? Book a charter fishing trip to snag some fresh seafood from the open ocean, or hoist your sails to enjoy the sights of Sydney Harbor and the famous Sydney Opera House from the water side. Golf is another traveler favorite in and around Sydney, with expansive courses offering views of Bondi Beach. Just don’t forget to take a break and enjoy one of the gourmet restaurants or wineries.
Sydney is also famous for its shopping scene. Head over to the Paddington neighborhood for top designers and boutiques, or explore several floors of fashion favorites at Westfield Sydney. For a more eclectic experience, stop by one of the inner-city markets for local artwork and other unique souvenirs. Once you’ve had your fill of window shopping, catch a show at the Opera House, or see dinosaur skeletons and ancient artifacts at one of the city’s many museums. Once the sun sets over the harbor, you can head back into town to enjoy Sydney’s vibrant nightlife scene.
With flights to various destinations worldwide, Sydney Airport makes traveling easy no matter where you’re headed. For flights out of the country, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines and American Airlines are just a few of your airline options. For domestic travel, check out Virgin Australia or Australia Air Express. Visit https://www.cheapflights.com.au for the top flight deals for routes out of Sydney.
If you’re driving to the airport, just take the freeway 10 miles south of the city center, and head for the short and long-term parking when you get there. You can also reach the airport via the Airport Link underground rail line, which takes around fifteen minutes from downtown Sydney. For an even more affordable trip, consider taking the bus. Route 400 brings you right to the airport.
Once you choose a destination, be sure to check out our Sydney airport guides for more detailed travel information and helpful tips.